The School of Art offers professional training for artists, photographers, media-makers and graphic designers by providing both the studio environment and the intellectual context that encourages artistic experimentation. Graduates of the School become innovators and leaders in their disciplines by learning to challenge preconceptions -- both personal and institutional -- and to engage fully in the contemporary discourse of their fields.
Back to top
The four year, 120 unit Bachelor of Fine Arts and Certificate of Fine Arts programs require a minimum of one year full-time study in residence. The 60 unit Master of Fine Arts and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts require a minimum of two years full-time study in residence.
Each Program in the School has a different set of requirements, outlined below. Within the constraints of these separate frameworks students are expected to forge an individualized course of study in order to create an independent body of work. As a consequence of this, students are encouraged to work with a range of faculty in their Program, in the School, and, where appropriate, across the Institute.
Students must successfully complete a Mid-Residence Project/Review, for undergraduates this is usually scheduled at the beginning of the Third Year of study and is intended to assess progress; for graduate students this is scheduled during the second semester of the first year and is predicated on a public presentation of a body of work. To graduate all students must complete a final project and present it in a public forum. This project will be subject to a final Graduation Review. Details regarding review procedures and scheduling are available on the School website.
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree candidates must complete forty-six units of Critical Studies coursework: Certificate of Fine Arts candidates do not complete Critical Studies courses. All other requirements for the Certificate of Fine Arts are identical to those for the BFA. Critical Studies requirements are detailed in the Critical Studies section of this Course Catalog.
Students are required to formulate a course of study in discussion with their mentor; this plan must fulfill the requirements laid out in the following pages. There is a mandatory meeting with the mentor at the beginning of each semester designed to check on progress towards the degree, and to plan and design the work for the upcoming semester.
Third year students are required to develop a project that is fit for review by a committee of faculty during the Mid-Residence Review. All fourth year students must present finished work in a public forum: an exhibition, screening, site-specific installation, publication design, or equivalent approved format. This work must be presented at a Graduation Review for discussion and approval.
In order to graduate all students must demonstrate an understanding of the history of their art form, and of the theoretical discussions that animate it. This means they must successfully complete eight units of history or criticism (classes identified by the prefix AIC). It is recommended that students take one course in Art History or Criticism per semester until the requirement is met. The following are particularly recommended, and in some programs required:
We also expect students to look beyond their chosen métier and experiment with a different view, and to that end all students must take at least two units outside of the School of Art (courses starting with the letter “A”) and School of Critical Studies (courses starting with the letter “C”).
Graduate students are expected to use these weeks as a serious block of time for studio work and meetings. All graduate students must enroll in MFA Independent Studio (Art and Photo/Media), MFA Practicum Workshop (Graphic Design and Art & Technology), or alternative Wintersession offering during Practicum. Art, Photo/Media, and Graphic Design students will be automatically enrolled in the associated MFA Independent Studio or MFA Practicum Workshop. Some regular Practicum workshops may be open to graduate students without credit, by permission of instructor. Registration for these classes takes place online during the last couple of weeks of the Fall Semester.
Students are required to formulate a course of study in discussion with their mentor; this plan must fulfill the requirements laid out in the following pages. There is a mandatory meeting with the mentor at the beginning of each semester designed to check on progress towards the degree, and to plan and design the work of the semester.
Students must develop and complete a project during their first year, and present it in a public forum. This project will be subject to faculty review during a Mid-Residence Review.
During their final year students must develop and complete another, more ambitious project, again for public presentation. The School does not limit the type or context, but students must develop the project in consultation with their mentor, according to Institute guidelines. This project will be subject to faculty review during a Graduation Review in the final semester of residence.
The course of study for the MFA in the Art, Photography and Media and Art and Technology programs may be either two or three years, with two years the norm.
A student may request a third year of study (particularly if working in Integrated Media, or towards an Interschool degree). A proposal requesting a third year must be initiated during the month following the Mid-residence Review. A final decision will be made by the end of the second semester of the first year by a committee consisting of mentor, appropriate Program Director and Dean, in consultation with the faculty.
Graphic Design offers a two year MFA program and a three year program for candidates who lack the minimum requirements for graduate study in graphic design.
The IM option offers a supplemental curriculum which consists of Integrated Media seminars and critiques in addition to specified courses in the student's program of entry. Students will also be expected to take electives chosen from a wide-ranging list of courses currently offered throughout the Institute.
The following courses are required but do not constitute a student's entire program.
By the time students graduate from the Program in Art (BFA and MFA), they should have:
The BFA Program in Art is structured to provide a strong foundation for achieving these goals, leading to individualized studio practice. The MFA Program in Art is designed to achieve these goals while providing a great degree of individualized instruction from the outset.
Each student will fashion a course of study in consultation with the mentor. The first two BFA years are intended to create a strong foundation for art making and critical thinking; the final two BFA years are intended to allow more personal exploration, grounded in one-on-one study, exhibitions or projects, and corresponding reviews.
To complete the BFA, an undergraduate must complete a total of 9 units of Independent Study.
BFA3 students are required to pass a 3 unit BFA Mid-Res Project, coinciding with the student’s mid-residency project or exhibition and mid-residency review.
BFA4 students are required to pass the
3 unit BFA Final Project, coinciding with the final exhibition and final review.
It is recommended that BFA students take one Independent Study within the Art Program each semester, beginning in the second year. The maximum number of independent studies with Art Program faculty per semester is 2.
BFA1 students are assigned 1 unit of Independent Study in the second semester, however they can take Independent Study in the first semester if they wish.
Each student must complete at least 5 units of practicum or winter session coursework including Art Hazards.
To complete the BFA, an undergraduate must complete a total of 8 units in Studio classes, including Foundation Studio AART104. These classes can be selected from the Studio Series, or other classes designated as Studio classes. The Studio Series classes are designed for undergraduates, and it is recommended that BFA1 and BFA2 take at least one class each semester from the Studio Series.
One class each semester from the Studio Series (see below). Note: not all Studio Series classes are offered each semester. AART104 Foundation Studio counts toward the required 8 units of studio courses.
Each student will fashion a course of study in consultation with the mentor. Each MFA student will present a project or exhibition during both the first and second year.
MFA-1's in their 2nd semester are required to complete a 5-unit MFA Mid-Residence Project (AART598).
MFA-2's in their final semester are required to complete a 5-unit MFA Final Project (AART698).
During Practicum/Wintersession all graduate students will be automatically enrolled in MFA Independent Studio, unless they choose to enroll in a Wintersession offering from another School or Program.
During their time in the program students should have:
The program of required courses in Graphic Design provides a structure for developing conceptual, formal and critical skills that align with the core studio classes (Graphic Design I through IV). As students progress through the program there is an increasing emphasis on independent work. Required courses are:
At the start of the third semester of residence, MFA2 and Advanced Certificate candidates will submit a thesis proposal for approval by the faculty. The major portion of graduate students' time and energy during the Fall Semester of their final year of residence will be spent working on the thesis project, which should be directed toward both practical investigation and theory. The Spring Semester of the final year is spent applying/exploring what has been learnt from the thesis in a body of work, or completing/developing the thesis.
By the time students graduate from the BFA Program, they should have:
Classes required to graduate:
Visual Semiotics can be taken at the BFA2, 3, or 4 year level.
Advanced Topics in Photo History courses are normal métier courses that, within the topic it explores, also covers the history of photography and media in a substantial way. In addition to the History of Photography APHM310, BFA students are required to take a minimum of two courses that count as Advanced Topics in Photo History. Advanced Topics in Photo History can be taken at the BFA2, 3, or 4 year level.
Mentoring:Each student is required to maintain regular contact with their mentor, including two meetings per semester and regular consultation on their course schedule.
Requirements by year level:
By the time students graduate from the MFA Program, they should have:
By the time that students graduate from the MFA Program in Art and Technology, they should have:
Students enrolled in the MFA Program in Arts and Technology must demonstrate competency through their Graduate Project, which consists of an exhibition of a final body of work and a presentation of their critical research with accompanying documentation. The Graduate Project is supervised by an individual mentor and a faculty committee. The student's Graduate Project must demonstrate an innovative and creative use of new forms of media and technologies within the context of a cogent critical premise.
All graduate students must enroll in MFA Independent Studio, MFA Practicum Workshop, or alternative Wintersession offering during Practicum
4 Approved Academic Courses (over the course of the 2 yr. Residency)
The Independent Study requirements in the second year can be substituted with an elective.
There is also a group exhibition in the MFA1 year and a final thesis exhibition in the MFA2 years.
There are 2 reviews that are required for graduation, one at the end of the MFA 1 year and one at the end of the MFA 2 year.